1998 Grand Marquis keyless entry - special fob?
I own a 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS that came to me with no spare ignition key and one keyless entry fob (aka remote, aka the little gray thing with 4 buttons that lets you unlock/lock the doors, open the trunk, and activate flashing headlights/honking horn remotely).
How does one go about getting a spare keyless entry fob to work with this car? I lost the original fob about 9 months ago and I am really missing it. I have a spare ignition key and a keyless entry fob, both of which originally went with a different Grand Marquis from around the same model year (possibly a 97, 98 or 99). I spent about 4 hours at the local Ford dealer this morning, trying to get both key and fob reprogrammed to work with my 1998 Grand Marquis.
Many rounds of "stump the technician" later, they finally got the ignition key to be recognized by the car, so I at least have a spare key. However, they stated that the keyless entry fob was probably defective, because they simply could not get the car to recognize it. This, although the fob looks fine and has never been abused (hardly used, actually - I've had it for years).
They also said they are unable to sell me a new keyless entry fob because they simply do not have any and they are no longer being made. I found this a little surprising. I seem to recall Ford using the same gray, 4-button fob for a LOT of different models over many years, including rentals I drove in the early 2000's. You can still get them on Amazon, Fleabay, etc. Well, whatever.
Do I need a specific keyless entry fob for my 1998 Grand Marquis, or can I buy one of those surplus/aftermarket fobs that looks the same as the original, then have the dealer reprogram it to work with my car? I am "lucky" enough to have the ONE GM model from the late 1990's that cannot accept new fobs with the widely known "turn ignition from 'Off' to 'Run' so many times in a row within so many seconds, press button on fob" method. Mine HAS to be taken to the dealer. But I don't want to go back there unless I have the right kind of keyless entry fob.
This is a huge pain in the butt, and I'm starting to wonder if it's even worth the effort. Anyone else run into this? As far as I can tell, Ford's "PATS" initialism really stands for "Passive-aggressive Anti-Theft System." It seems to be just as successful as preventing use by the legitimate owner as it is in keeping thieves at bay.